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May 15, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Sant'Elia
1 - 3
Inter Milan
FT(HT: 0-1)
Darmian (25'), Martinez (51', 84')
Darmian (37'), Calhanoglu (87')

Preview: Cagliari vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Cagliari vs. Inter Milan - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Cagliari and Inter Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Crowned Coppa Italia champions after an epic final in midweek, Inter Milan continue the defence of their Scudetto into Serie A's penultimate round, as they visit relegation-threatened Cagliari on Sunday.

Two points adrift of city rivals Milan with just two games to play, the Nerazzurri must target victory in Sardinia to keep title hopes alive, while their hosts are just inside the drop zone and are equally desperate for points.

Match preview

Made all the more sweet by defeating their arch-rivals in a second straight fight for silverware, Inter came from behind against Juventus on Wednesday to clinch a first Coppa Italia since 2011, at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Following their Supercoppa Italiana triumph earlier this season, an Ivan Perisic double in extra time helped Simone Inzaghi's men to achieve the first part of their attempted domestic double, after Hakan Calhanoglu's 80th-minute penalty had forced extra time.

Perisic then stepped up to the spot and put Inter 3-2 in front on 99 minutes, before slamming home an unstoppable fourth just three minutes later, to secure an eighth Coppa for his club.

Now set to face Cagliari and Sampdoria in their final two league games, the reigning Serie A champions have won six of their last seven league fixtures, but a calamitous recent loss at Bologna still haunts them and could ultimately prove their undoing - unless Milan slip up at some stage.

They certainly cannot afford to do so themselves, and are strong favourites to prevail on this occasion despite ceding home advantage to their latest opponents - Inter have won eight of their last 10 league games against Cagliari, losing just once in that spell.

Inzaghi has seen his side regain their touch in the final third of late, and having scored in each of their last 11 outings - including four goals in their comeback win over Empoli last Friday - the buoyant visitors are not exactly welcome guests in Sardinia this weekend.

Unsurprisingly, given the difference in their relative stature, Cagliari's last 13 home matches against Inter have seen eight defeats for the Isolani and only three victories over their Milanese counterparts.

Indeed, Serie A's 18th-placed side have won just three home games so far this season; their joint-fewest in a single top-flight campaign, and the worst such return in over two decades.

That lack of success in front of their own fans has contributed to the Rossoblu's current predicament, which sees them staring demotion to Serie B in the face, with time fast running out to save their skins.

Set to tackle Venezia next weekend, with their fellow strugglers already relegated, a tall task awaits the side now managed by Alessandro Agostini, who has been elevated from the primavera side to oversee the campaign's conclusion, in the wake of former Inter coach Walter Mazzarri's dismissal.

If Cagliari are to extend their top-flight stay to a seventh straight season, they may reflect on last week's late equaliser by Giorgio Altare as an invaluable intervention, as his 99th-minute strike against Salernitana not only salvaged a precious point but also keeps them within touching distance of the Granata in the table.

Victory would now take them out of the bottom three and put their destiny in their own hands, but something similarly miraculous may be needed to topple the champions on Sunday.

Cagliari Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Inter Milan form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

After completing his return to the squad following an injury layoff, Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni could now force his way back into the starting XI ahead of Danilo D'Ambrosio and Federico Dimarco, both of whom have deputised on the left of Simone Inzaghi's back three in his absence.

Considering the 120 minutes of an intense cup contest against Juve in midweek, the visitors' coach may make some other minor changes to his lineup, as Joaquin Correa and Alexis Sanchez compete to unseat veteran striker Edin Dzeko up front.

Whoever is selected should join Lautaro Martinez in a two-man attack, and now on 19 goals - following a brace against Empoli - the Argentina international could become just the sixth player in Inter's history to score at least 20 times in a single Serie A season before turning 25.

Meanwhile, Cagliari are expected to have just two significant absentees on Sunday evening, as Nahitan Nandez is still recovering from a thigh problem and reserve goalkeeper Boris Radunovic serves a suspension after being sent off while on the bench against Salernitana.

Therefore, Leonardo Pavoletti is favourite to join captain Joao Pedro up front, and seven of the Isolani's last 14 home goals have been scored by their skipper - including the most recent, from a direct free-kick against Hellas Verona.

Cagliari possible starting lineup:
Cragno; Ceppitelli, Lovato, Altare; Bellanova, Baselli, Grassi, Rog, Lykogiannis; Pedro, Pavoletti

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Correa, Martinez

We say: Cagliari 0-2 Inter Milan

Following a 4-0 win in December's reverse fixture at San Siro, Inter are set to complete the double over Cagliari, as they carry over momentum from their Coppa Italia triumph.

With a winnable game remaining on the final day, the hosts may still have a shot at redemption next week, but they have lost half of their home fixtures to this point and are particularly vulnerable defensively.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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